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Fatehpur Sikri

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Agra, India.

  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
Photo of Fatehpur Sikri
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Fatehpur Sikri, a city built in red sandstone by Emperor Akbar to commemorate the birth of his son. Perched a top a rocky ridge 37 km west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri came into being four centuries ago when the Emperor Akbar, not yet 28 years old, created the first planned city in Indo-Islamic style. The city was actualized with great energy, but was completely abandoned a little more than a decade later. A shortage of water is believed to be the reason. Today it is a ghost city, its architecture is in a perfect state of preservation, and wandering through the palaces it is easy to imagine that this was once a royal residence and a dynamic cultural centre. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was really quite bizarre to walk around here and see everything in such pristine shape…400 years is a long time! But there you go, the reason often times is human for the decay of things.

In 1568, Akbar was secure and powerful but he had no son and heir. His search for blessing for the birth of a successor brought him to the Sufi mystic Shaikh Salim Chisti, who lived in Sikri village. The saint prophesied the birth of three sons and soon after was born Prince Salim, later to become Emperor Jehangir. In gratitude for the blessing Akbar decided to create imperial residences in Sikri, which would function as a joint capital with Agra. As a mark of his faith and his recent victories, he named his new city Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar was a keen builder and the plan of Fatehpur Sikri reveals an architectural mastermind at work. It would have been so interesting to see this city when it was thriving.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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Fatehpur Sikri

Primarily constructed in red sandstone, this town was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. But for a failed water supply, this would have been his new capital. Today it is a virtual ghost city host to a population of 30,000. Despite its lack of practical application, Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height. Though the city is in ruins, it is a place to visit if one comes to Agra. It is a place where everyone should spend some time watching the sun set over the sacred, timeless ruins. Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture.

Fatehpur Sikri

Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

Political capital of the Mughal Empire

Within the ancient, red sandstone walls of Fatehpur Sikri, the political capital of the Mughal Empire, lies a magnificent city, built in the 16th Century. The beautiful Jami Mosque, vast sandstone city gate, grandiose halls and luxurious palaces were built under the direction of Akbar, the ruler of the empire, to house his own court and harem.

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